Chelsea's 'supporter presence' move seems to be little more than a token gesture
A step in the right direction
Chelsea FC have announced that there will be a fan presence at future board meetings to ensure that their interests are defended, following the short-lived but deeply controversial Super League debacle.
After the richest six teams in England signed up to a Super League with six other European clubs, fans of every club - more so in England than in Spain and Italy - revolted, taking to the streets to demonstrate against their clubs' actions.
Chelsea were the first team to drop out, before every other team followed in the face of widespread outrage.
Since then, protests have taken place outside multiple stadiums, with Manchester United fans breaking into their own stadium on Sunday, resulting in their fixture vs Liverpool being delayed. Fans are rightly angry, and there is a sense that fans must capitalise on this moment and force through change for the better.
On Tuesday afternoon, Chelsea have become the first club to take a step in the right direction by announcing that fans would be welcomed into board meetings.
A statement on the club website read: "Three supporter advisors, picked through an election and selection process, will attend board meetings to ensure general supporter sentiment is considered as part of the Club’s decision-making process.
"The Club will now consult with the Fans’ Forum and several non-official supporter groups to discuss the Club’s proposed process for picking the three supporter advisors.
"Criteria for nominations as well as final selection will ensure that the supporter presence is representative of our supporter base generally and is inclusive and diverse. A new selection will be made before the start of each season."
It also went on the clarify that the supporter advisors "will not have any voting rights and will not participate in any meetings relating to players, staff, the Academy and related matters."
A line which, in any language, makes this little more than token gesture.
Club statement on supporter presence at board meetings.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 4, 2021